play the devil with (something)

(redirected from play the devil)

play the devil with (something)

To ruin or cause serious damage to something; to greatly upset, disrupt, or negatively affect something. Lack of oversight allowed overzealous investment bankers to play the devil with the economy. I love wine, but it plays the devil with my stomach!
See also: devil, play

play the devil with something

Fig. to cause disruption with something; to foul something up. Your being late really played the devil with my plans for the day. This weather is really playing the devil with my arthritis.
See also: devil, play

play the devil with

Upset, ruin, make a mess of, as in This weather plays the devil with my aching joints, or Wine stains play the devil with a white tablecloth. This allusion to diabolical mischief is heard more in Britain than in America. [Mid-1500s] Also see the synonym play havoc.
See also: devil, play

play the devil (or Old Harry) with

damage or affect greatly.
Old Harry has been a nickname for the devil in northern England since the 18th century.
See also: devil, play

play the devil with

To upset or ruin.
See also: devil, play
References in classic literature ?
Somebody must tell her what has happened--or she'll play the devil, and the whole business will burst up.
Well," began Jean Frollo once more," we must play the devil with them.
And he often found himself waiting with anticipation for the dreamy time to pass when he could cross the Slot and cut loose and play the devil.
8IS MANY top movie stars have gone through hell for the chance to play the Devil.
Fans of Ruddy's work will fondly remember her classic take on a Cypriot psychotic mother called Athenoulla in her 2012 play The Devil wears Primark, and her Edinburgh Festival award-winning creation titled Sex Chips and Ouzo which has now been elevated to the screenplay stage.
National Theatre Wales' version of John Osborne's first play The Devil Inside Him at the New Theatre, Cardiff.
Indeed, the company's 150-seat space promises an intimate experience of the work, with Stravinsky's score rendered by just four musicians and a cast that includes Muriel, the puppet soldier, one actor to narrate and another to play the devil.
Well that's exactly what you get when you hire Al Pacino to play the Devil, as this ludicrous 1997 film shows.
I play the Devil Queen and I'm a 2,000-year-old wife," says Toyah.
Show creator Steve Steinman reckons that Toyah is the perfect choice to play the Devil Queen in the unique production.
After seven consecutive games against the Yankees and Red Sox, the Angels come home to play the Devil Rays.
Hollywood chiefs want Sean Connery to play the Devil .
Play the devil at his own game, Demoralise him abolish his moment of fame.
He's best known these days as the antiques rogue in TV's Lovejoy but the boy from Blackburn was born to play the Devil.
Jason Wood, the Devils' first choice when current netminder Stevie Lyle was first emerging as a 14-year-old schoolboy, will be between the pipes for Stone's team to play the Devils on February 23.